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Montana amphibian and reptile status assessment, literature review, and conservation plan

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Montana amphibian and reptile status assessment, literature review, and conservation plan


Published 2009
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"Last updated: 11 June 2009"

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Includes bibliographical references

Suggested Citation -- Acknowledgements -- Table of Contents -- Executive Summary -- Checklist of Montana's Amphibian and Reptile Species -- Presence and Status Ranks for Amphibians and Reptiles in Various Land Management Regions in Montana -- General Habitat Associations for Amphibians in Montana -- General Habitat Associations for Reptiles in Montana -- Laws and Regulations Applicable to Amphibians and Reptiles in Montana -- Review of Literature Relevant to the Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles in General -- Introduction to Species Accounts -- Species Accounts for Species Documented in Montana -- Species Accounts for Amphibian and Reptile Species Potentially Present in Montana -- Contact Information for Montana's Amphibian and Reptile Working Group -- Field Data Forms

This document summarizes a great deal of information on the distribution, status, and biology of amphibians and reptiles known or thought to potentially inhabit Montana and is intended to become a dynamic living document that can be updated on a regular basis from research conducted in Montana or elsewhere. The document will be posted on the Montana Natural Heritage Programs website at http://nhp.nris.state.mt.us/reports.asp as well as Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Comprehensive Fish and Wildlife Conservation Strategy website at http://fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/cfwcs/swg/planning.html The document begins with taxonomic checklists for amphibians and reptiles that: (1) have been documented as native species; (2) are potentially present as native species; (3) have been documented as exotic species successfully reproducing in the state; (4) have been documented as successfully reproducing in the state but for which there is uncertainty about their status as native or exotic species; and (5) have been documented in the state but for which there is no evidence of successful reproduction. Presence and status ranks for amphibians and reptiles are then summarized for various land management regions in Montana and background information is provided as to why species were assigned these ranks and what the associated management implications are for each state, federal, or tribal agency. Status ranks are described for Global Ranks (G ranks) assigned to species by NatureServe and State Ranks (S ranks) assigned to species by the Montana Natural Heritage Program because they are often used by federal and state agencies when they are developing their own special status ranks for species they will give special protections or considerations in land use planning. Status ranks and summaries of distribution and/or site occupancy rates from recent amphibian inventory surveys are provided for: (1) Region 1 National Forests; (2) Bureau of Land Management Field Offices; (3) tribal reservations; (4) Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Regions; and (5) National Wildlife Refuges or refuge complexes. General habitat associations are then summarized in tables listing major habitat types and all of the amphibian and reptile species that are typically found in these habitats. Laws and regulations applicable to Montanas amphibians and reptiles are then summarized, including federal laws and regulations, tribal regulations, portions of Montana Code Annotated relevant to nongame and endangered species, and portions of Montana Code Annotated relevant to importation, introduction, and translocation of wildlife. A review of literature relevant to conservation of amphibians and reptiles includes sections on (1) ecological function and importance of amphibians and reptiles, (2) amphibian and reptile biology and disturbance regimes relevant to management, (3) risk factors relevant to the viability of amphibian and reptile populations including: (a) global amphibian declines; (b) timber harvest; (c) grazing; (d) fire and fire management activities; (e) nonindigenous species and their management; (f) road and trail development and on- and off-road vehicle use; (g) development and management of recreational facilities and water impoundments; (h) harvest and commerce; and (i) habitat fragmentation and metapopulation impacts. This review is currently somewhat biased toward amphibians, both because of the much higher recent concern over the status of amphibians and because this literature review drew from previous efforts focused on amphibians. Accounts for individual species then summarize what is known about the species distributition, taxonomy, maximum documented elevation, habitat use and natural history, and conservation status. Sections on identification of various life history stages and priority research and management issues are also included. Finally, an attempt was made to compile a complete bibliography of published and gray literature for each species in order to provide everyone easy access to this information. These accounts are intended to be updated on a regular basis in order to provide everyone access to the latest information. A contact list for members of the Montana Amphibian and Reptile Working Group is included in order to promote communication between agency biologists, resource managers, students, researchers, and anyone interested in the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Montana. An overview of the statewide inventory and monitoring program for amphibians and reptiles provides background information on the sampling schemes used, methods used for surveys, and the survey forms used for a variety of amphibian inventory work. Watershed summaries for the lentic breeding amphibian and aquatic reptile surveys complete the current version of this report in order to provide resource managers easy access to this information. Georeferenced site photos associated with this inventory work have been posted on the Montana Natural Heritage Programs TRACKER website which can be accessed at: http://mtnhp.org It is recommended that users of this document first use the tables at the beginning of the document to identify management status, likelihood of a species presence in the area of interest, and the complement of species that are typically found in each general habitat type. Users should then examine individual species accounts in order gain a more thorough understanding of a species distribution, status, resource needs, factors that may pose a threat to population viability, and management actions that may mitigate these threats. Finally, users can review results of field surveys contained in individual watershed reports or see up-to-date distribution information for each species on the Montana Natural Heritage TRACKER website at: http://mtnhp.org


Volume 2009
Publisher Helena, Montana : Montana Natural Heritage Program
Year 2009
Pages 643
Language English
Book contributor Montana State Library
Contributor usage rights See terms
Collection MontanaStateLibrary

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